GPO Vehicles

Make Karrier
Model Gamecock QXM 47A
Type 2 ton General Utility Vehicle Type 2 (Karrier)
Body Builder Harrington & Rootes
Use Heavy general purpose work - Petrol
Registration Number

NGJ 705 & NLW 597 - (U58975 & U59532 shown)

Fleet Number Ranges U58974 to U59115 (NGJ 704 - 845) 1952 (Harrington)
U59525 to U59724 (NLW 590 - 789) 1953
U66276 to U66435 (NYH 62 - 221) 1953 (Rootes)
Date of picture July 1953

General description and facilities
This vehicle has a forward control cab equipped with seats for four passengers and a driver, under seat tool lockers and a hinged writing table. A lift-up roll shutter and a hinged tail-board section provide rear access to the box body which is equipped with shelves and loose partitioned racks, special insulator storage racks and compartmented drawers for the accommodation of small stores. There are also additional racks surmounted by a working bench top at the forward end, and fixed lashing eyes along each side of the vehicle floor. Traps at the rear of the vehicle provide access to a shelf above the off-side racking for the transport of long ladders and to a special storage space below the racking for digging tools. Poles up to 36 ft. in length may be carried in the centre of the body space, supported by a fixed bolster at the forward end and by a removable bolster and pole guides at the rear end. The total weight of poles and any stores items carried must not exceed 28 cwt. with a full complement of personnel in the vehicle. A hinged seat in the box body is provided for occasional use only and in NO CIRCUMSTANCES must any Person travel in the vehicle body with the shutter down. Two skid-boards are supplied and should be used in conjunction with a block and tackle and the vehicle anchorage block for loading heavy items. The spot floor loading is limited to I ton. Three spindles are available within the box body to facilitate wire and small cable paying out operations. This vehicle is suitable for use by small general purpose gangs of three or four men who require limited pole carrying facilities.
NOTE:- Some vehicles have been modified (see B 2020) in order to increase the towing capacity from 45 cwt. to 5 tons.



Karrier Gamecock 2 ton utility, complete with crew cab for 5 gang members.


B 2020
Issue 2, 8.2.62

2-ton General Utility Vehicle, Type 2 (Karrier)

1. General
This Instruction describes the 2-ton General Utility Vehicle, Type 2 (Karrier). It is the standard vehicle for heavy general-purpose gangs of up to five men but, by using the occasional seating in the body of the vehicle (see par. 2), the facilities provided may be found suitable for gangs of up to seven men. General views of the vehicle are shown above.

Fig 3

2. Seating arrangements
In the over-engine cab, the driver and one passenger occupy forward positions. The driver’s seat is adjustable in the forward or rearward direction. The locker situated on the off-side of the rear of the cab is upholstered to form a seat for two passengers. A seat which folds to facilitate access to the rear of the cab is situated near the rear cab door and accommodates a fifth man. Fig. 4 is an interior view of the cab. Within the body, a folding seat for occasional passengers is located on the near-side.

Fig 4

3. Writing facilities
A folding table with lamp above is provided. The under-seat locker and two wire-mesh compartments in the rear of the cab provide accommodation for books and papers.

4. First aid kits
A pair of straps are provided in the cab on the off-side, to hold the gang’s first aid outfit. The driver’s first aid outfit is placed high up on the off-side within the cab.

5. Modification to straps for gang’s first aid outfit
On vehicles with serial numbers of U 80400 and below, it is possible that variations in the positioning of the straps in the cab, coupled with variations in the sizes of the first aid boxes No. 2 and constructional features in the cab, will cause difficulty in securing and handling the first aid box. Difficulty of this nature often results in the carriage of the gang’s first aid box in odd corners of lockers, so defeating the express object of providing straps for securing the first aid box in a prominent and accessible position in the cab.

If such difficulty is encountered, a request should be made to the R.M.T.O. to arrange for the repositioning of the straps to suit the size of first aid box held.

After modification, or if the first aid box already held fits, care should be taken to avoid unnecessary requests for subsequent modifications to the straps. For example, the first aid outfit should be replenished under the terms of GENERAL, General, A 0551 and not replaced, unless the box is unserviceable or obsolete.

6. Cab temperature control and demisting
A measure of temperature control within the cab is provided by use of a baffle plate, situated behind the radiator grille. Insertion of this baffle allows heat from the engine to warm the cab. Conversely, removal of the baffle allows cold air to flow between the engine and cab floor to keep the cab cool. The baffle plate will be removed (or replaced) at commencement of the appropriate season of the year, by M.T. staff, and will be stored in the workshop during the warm season. Two slots at the base of the windscreen direct warm air (which rises from the cab floor when the baffle plate is fitted) to the windscreen for demisting purposes.

Fig 5
Fig 6

7. Use of wiring drums
To facilitate the paying out of wire from the vehicle, three spindles are provided as part of the vehicle equipment. The spindles fit into sockets in the floor of the body at the rear (see Fig. 5) and, when not in use, are accommodated in other sockets beside the rear off-side pole bolster support (see Fig. 7). Two spindles are designed to carry drums for 40-lb. wire and the third spindle will accommodate the wiring drum from a drum barrow for larger gauges of conductor. Wiring drums are not provided with the vehicle and requirements should be met from drums recovered from old Utility Vehicles and from surplus drums already available locally (e.g. from 1-ton Utility Vehicles used by jointers).

8. Ladder carrying facilities
A ladder rack is provided inside the vehicle on top of the off-side racking, with a door at front and rear to allow projection of longer ladders. Two devices each comprising a cleat, 8 ft. of sash line, a hooked plate and variable anchorage are employed to secure the ladder pile. They give an adequate range of adjustment for varying heights of ladder pile and are arranged to prevent their being trapped under the ladders when ladders are being placed on the rack. The sash line is held captive to the shelf framing to prevent its loss. The ladder pile must always be firmly secured before the vehicle moves off. Figs. 5 and 6 show a typical set of ladders in position.

To load a long ladder the weather screen should be furled. The trap door at the front of the ladder rack and the adjacent trap door(s) should be opened as necessary. The ladder securing devices should be pulled clear, the trap door at the rear of the ladder rack opened and the hinged section of the roll shutter guide lowered (see par. 11). The ladder is then passed through the main entrance into the body of the vehicle and the head of the ladder through the forward pole aperture until the ladder is so positioned that it can conveniently be lifted cleanly on to the ladder rack or ladder pile (Fig. 6). Similarly, a ladder should be lifted cleanly off the ladder rack or ladder pile before it is unloaded from the vehicle.

Ladders must not be propped up against the roof or side of the vehicle. Apart from damaging the vehicle, an accident may result particularly if the vehicle should be inadvertently moved.

9. Pole carrying facilities
A bolster system is provided for the carriage of poles. The front bolster is built into the vehicle framework while the rear bolster is removable and is stowed under the floor when not in use (see Fig. 3). Two pole guides are provided with the vehicle. These pass through guides in the rear pole bolster and fit into sockets in the floor of the body. To prevent the pole guides being dislodged, securing pins are provided and are held captive to the rear bolster bar by short lengths of chain. The securing pins fit into holes in the pole guides and bear against the underside of the rear bolster when in position. The pole guides when not in use are accommodated in sockets beside the off-side rear bolster support (see Fig. 7).

Fig 7
Fig 8

The forward end of the body is equipped with three trap doors to facilitate adjustment of the pole opening to suit the pole load. Opening and closing of the trap doors is effected from inside the vehicle with the aid of a simple hooked tool which is carried in clips above the pole opening (see Fig. 8). The hooked tool provided should always be used when lowering a trap door to avoid damage to the trap door and cab roof.

The pole heads are lashed to rings provided on the front bolster and the pole butts are lashed to the rear bolster. Full advantage should be taken of pole guides to prevent accidents due to poles twisting during loading and rolling uncontrolled across the bolster, and also to secure poles in a central position if required.

The arrangements provide for the carriage of poles of maximum length 36 ft. up to a total load of 30 cwt., care being taken to adjust other loading as necessary to avoid exceeding the total permissible vehicle load (par. 13). Card A 706 gives a guide in estimating pole weights for loading purposes.

10. Weather screen
A canvas weather screen (see Fig. 8) closes off the forward section of the ladder shelf and contains any rain entering to the ladder shelf, which is suitably drained. The weather screen can be rolled up, as shown in Fig. 6, to leave the ladder shelf clear for the handling of ladders.

11. Roll shutter
A light alloy roll shutter is provided at the rear of the vehicle (see Fig. 3). A section of the shutter guide is hinged and can be lowered to leave the ladder shelf clear for the easy manipulation of ladders. This hinged section should be lowered under control (see Fig. 6) to prevent damage to the hinge and minor accidents. A spring catch prevents the shutter being inadvertently pulled down with the hinged section of the guide lowered.


12. Loading aids
Two skid boards are issued with each vehicle and are stored beneath the floor (see Fig. 3). Each skid board is designed to withstand a maximum load of 15 cwt. A block anchorage (see Fig. 8), located on the forward racking, is provided so that a block and tackle may be used in conjunction with the skid boards for loading heavy items. Lashing eyes (see Fig. 5) are arranged down each side of the clear floor space to enable heavy items, particularly cable drums, to be securely chocked and lashed. When a cable drum is stowed close to the tailboard, the additional safety precaution of placing the rear bolster in position should always be taken to avoid damage to the roll shutter or tailboard in the event of the drum moving.

Loads should not be placed on the rear folding step even for temporary support during loading operations.

13. Maximum load
The maximum distributed load which may be carried is 2 tons, including driver, passengers, tools, etc., but floor strength considerations limit the maximum spot load (e.g. a drum of cable) to 1 ton.

14. Work bench
The top of the forward racking forms a convenient work bench on which a parallel vice may be mounted, using a packing block made locally.

15. Accommodation for tools and stores
Within the body racking, arranged along the off-side and front end of the body, are suitably partitioned compartments and drawers for the accommodation of tools and light stores (see Figs. 7 and 8). Four partitioned drawers are available for small stores. Saws and augers may be accommodated on hooks and clips on the rear wall of the centre-top off-side compartment, and the smaller tools are segregated by divisions in this compartment and in two drawers. The bottom off-side compartment is accessible from the outside of the vehicle by a trap door, at the rear, and is designed for stowing digging kit. A separate lockable compartment is provided to secure special items during casual absence from the vehicle, e.g. for the security of telephone instruments if a gang includes a fitter. Small-gauge wire, drop wire, etc. should be accommodated in the lower near-side compartment of the forward racking. Six loose partitions are provided, five being large partitions for general use and one small for use in the lockable compartment, at the discretion of the foreman. The two-tier insulator rack fitted in the off-side top-rear compartment is removable. Fig. 9 shows this insulator rack and specimen loose partitions.

Fig 9

The layout illustrated in this Instruction is only a typical one suitable for A.N. gangs. The fittings are, however, adaptable to the requirements of other duties but, owing to the wide range of duties on which the vehicle may be used, it is not possible to recommend any fixed layout. It is left to the discretion of the foreman to make the best use of the facilities provided.

16. Carriage of heavy-gauge wire
A retaining bar is provided inside the vehicle, on the near-side, for the convenient stowage of stay wire and heavy-gauge copper wire (see Fig. 5).

17. Coat hooks (see Fig. 5) are provided within the body, on the near-side.

18. Towing facilities
Provision is made for towing trailers with over-run brakes and which do not exceed a maximum gross weight of 45 cwt. The towing hitch is mounted on a spring-loaded draw-bar.

19. Special modification to improve towing capacity
A limited selection of 2-ton General Utility Vehicles nominated by Regions have been specially modified
as follows:-

  1. Vacuum trailer-braking equipment has been added.

  2. The towing hitch has been repositioned at a higher level to obtain a stronger mounting.

  3. The removable cabling bollard has been replaced by a fixed bollard.

  4. The rear pole bolster stowage position has been moved to above the spare wheel on the off-side.

This modification allows the modified vehicles to tow trailers equipped with vacuum braking up to a gross trailed load of 5 tons and, at the same time, maintains the original facilities for cabling and pole bolster stowage.

20. Future requests for special modification to increase towing capacity
A small stock of conversion kits is available to meet future requests for the modification to increase the towing capacity of a 2-ton General Utility Vehicle. When an Area Engr. is satisfied that such a modification is justified, a request (form MTE 26G) quoting the serial number of the vehicle, together with a statement of the circumstances justifying the modification, should be forwarded to the RD. (Eng. Bch.) for authority. Authorized requests should be forwarded to the R.M.T.O. for implementation.

21. Cabling facilities
An open-ended bollard is provided for pulling in cables by means of the vehicle. Mechanical Aids, C 1006 details the principles and precautions which apply to such a cabling operation. The bollard is attached to a spring-loaded draw-bar, via the towing hitch pin in its reversed position. Normally the bollard is left in place and need only be removed when it is necessary to tow a trailer (see also par. 19).


The hook (or anchorage) fitted on the front of the vehicle is provided for vehicle towing and maintenance purposes only.

22. Vehicle tools
The vehicle tools are accommodated, together with a trailer number plate and a vehicle handbook, in a separate tool box situated on the off-side of the vehicle. The jack handle is located in clips in the cab (see Fig. 4). A budget key is carried in a clip on the rear wall within the cab.

23. Mechanical tyre pump
A mechanical tyre pump outlet is situated below the near-side of the cab floor. The mechanical tyre pump is brought into operation by means of a separate gear lever, situated below the off-side of the cab floor, adjacent to the pump. Two men are necessary to engage the air pump, one to depress the clutch pedal with the engine running and the other to operate the pump-gear lever. The pump should be disengaged immediately after use by simply operating the pump-gear lever. The air hose supplied for use with the mechanical tyre pump is equipped with a double-headed type of connector to ensure easy access to all tyre valves.

24. Locking arrangements
The rear trap door for gaining access to digging tools is equipped with a budget lock and an inside catch. All ladder and pole trap doors are fitted with bolts on the inside. The foreman’s paper locker, vehicle tool locker, security compartment and the rear shutter are secured by means of padlocks. Padlocks are not supplied with the vehicle and sufficient Padlocks with Keys, 2 in. with 2 keys of the same suite should be requisitioned when a new vehicle is received. Care should be taken to maintain all padlocks on any one vehicle in the same suite, if replacement locks are requisitioned. Cab doors are equipped with standard barrel locks (FA 600).

25. Garaging
The overall dimensions of the 2-ton General Utility Vehicle, Type 2 (Karrier) are:-
Length 20 ft.
Width 7 ft. 5 in.
Height 9 ft. 7 in.

Ladders carried in the vehicle will, of course, increase the overall length and garaging space should be assessed accordingly. If several vehicles are to be garaged, space should be allowed for gangways, cleaning, etc.

26. Speed limit
Because of tyre-loading limitations, the maximum speed is limited to 20 m.p.h.

Mechanical Aids, C 1006
GENERAL, General, A 0551


Vol. 47 - APRIL 1954

An Improved 2-ton General Utility Vehicle by G. H. Slater

This article describes improvements in the design of the 2-ton general utility vehicle which was introduced experimentally about four years ago.

Some four years ago an experimental 2-ton general utility vehicle was designed by the Post Office Engineering Department and put on trial.  The vehicle offered many advantages over earlier types, including a higher payload capacity, low-loading facilities, more floor and locker space, and an improved standard of comfort for the external gang.

While the trial was still in progress, further vehicles to the same design were put into service and have proved to be a most valuable addition to the Department’s motor transport facilities.

As the result of extensive experience of the experimental type under working conditions, a number of modifications have been decided upon and incorporated in the standard 2-ton utility vehicle described in the following paragraphs.  The necessity for a new vehicle and the general considerations influencing its design have already been discussed in an earlier article.

The New Vehicle
The general appearance of the vehicle now standardised is illustrated in the pictures above which shows the vehicle fully loaded with stores for an installation gang, including two 36-ft. poles and one 30-ft. pole.

As in the experimental version, the chassis is a 3-ton Karrier Low Loader fitted with twin rear wheels giving a floor height of about 3 ft.  Externally the experimental and new vehicles look similar but the latter has a cab frontage of improved appearance and can readily be identified by the aluminium alloy roll shutter fitted at the rear.  The metal shutter is, in fact, the most prominent of the improvements incorporated in the vehicles now going into service.

A feature of the shutter is that the facility of free access to the ladder shelf for the stowage and removal of the ladders has been retained with an unrestricted space of approx. 18 in. between the shelf and the underside of the roof rails.  At the forward end of the body there is no difficulty in providing this space since the ladder and pole hatches are hinged on their lower edges and require no fixed guides.  At the rear end, however, the off-side guide for the roll shutter presented a problem which was eventually overcome by designing a guide, the upper portion of which is hinged at a point just below the level of the ladder shelf.  In the raised position, the hinged portion is locked by a bolt, thus providing two rigid guides for the free running of the roll shutter. In the lowered position, which can, of course, only be effected with the shutter rolled up, the hinged portion of the guide is secured by the same bolt to the front face of the fixed portion of the shutter guide.

To prevent damage by the inadvertent closing of the shutter when the hinged portion of the guide is in the lowered position, a spring-loaded stop incorporated in one of the supporting brackets effectively locks the shutter in the up position.  The stop is automatically set clear of the shutter when the hinged portion of the guide is in the raised position.

The fitting of this shutter should overcome the criticism that the original canvas curtain gave doubtful security; it is hoped that the increased cost of the roll shutter will be more than offset by savings in the cost of maintenance on the more easily damaged curtains.

The majority of the 2-ton general utility vehicles carry long ladders which must project beyond the front of the vehicle body; consequently, an offside forward hatch is required and, for all practical purposes, this has to remain permanently open.  The original vehicles were arranged with a total of three forward hatches of equal size, two of which allowed for pole carrying.  On most occasions, however, it was only necessary to have open the offside hatch and it was found that, even when a full complement of ladders was in position, a comparatively large open space was left through which rain and snow could drive.

To overcome this difficulty, the forward hatches have now been arranged in four sections, thus reducing the open space immediately adjacent to the ladder pile.  To close off this open space, a canvas screen has been provided, which extends from the vehicle roof to the ladder shelf, and from the forward hatch to a position about 3 ft. along the ladder shelf, for the purpose of confining rainwater and snow to the forward portion of the shelf.  The screen is fixed flush to the underside of the roof, and the lower edge is secured by turn buttons to the face of the ladder shelf fence-board.  The forward edge of the screen has been shaped to form a small flap which turns to meet the face of the forward hatch, where it is held in position by turn buttons.  A small flap sewn along the inner side of the screen overlaps the ladder shelf fence-board to direct water from the screen to the shelf.  A stiffener in the form of a steel rod sewn into a seam near the lower edge of the screen facilitates easy rolling for stowing the screen against the roof, where it is secured by two straps.

To dispose of any water which collects on the forward portion of the ladder shelf, draining grooves have been cut into the shelf to direct the water to a drain tube.

Experience with this screen is at present somewhat limited and it may later be decided to achieve the same object with a sliding panel.

To satisfactorily stow and remove the ladders from the ladder shelf, it will now, of course, be necessary to roll up the screen and open two forward hatches: a small disadvantage compared with the improved conditions inside the vehicle.

When poles are being carried, there is no practicable alternative to leaving the front open, but, as this period is of short duration compared with the periods for which ladders have to be carried, any inconvenience from this source should be slight.

The devices for securing the ladders to the shelf have been given much consideration.  Apart from the fact that the ladder pile may vary considerably in height, it is an unyielding load which needs a securing device with an unlimited range of tightening adjustment but no tendency to slip.  Various types of tongueless buckles were tried, but each had disadvantages either in respect of slipping after tightening or difficulty in releasing when tightened.

Eventually a most simple device seems to have solved the problem - a length of sashline, secured to the shelf so that it cannot be lost, and having at its free end a hooked plate which can be attached to one of a set of staples secured to the side of the body behind the ladder pile; this, in conjunction with
a simple cleat attached to the front of the ladder shelf fence board, provides a wide range of length and tightening adjustment with practically no tendency to slip.

As a possible alternative, a set of tongue-buckle straps has been designed with a spring attachment which gives the necessary range of adjustment over the distance between consecutive sets of holes in the strap. This device works quite satisfactorily and can be introduced should any unforeseen difficulties occur with the sashline.

The layout of the internal fittings, decided upon after considerable field investigation, provides a fair measure of flexibility and facilitates orderly arrangement of the stores and tools.

The compartmented nest of drawers accommodates the small items of stores, such as cleats, staples, number nails, lugs, copper sleeves, etc., as well as some of the smaller tools.  Each drawer can be secured with a budget lock to prevent movement when the vehicle is in motion, and a measure of rearrangement is possible with the loose partitions.

The instrument cupboard for stowing telephones, connection strips, fitter's bag, etc., is lockable, and the two sliding doors provide adequate means of access with the minimum of obstruction.

The insulator rack is removable, and for duties not requiring this facility the space can be used for other purposes by rearranging the loose partitions provided as part of the vehicle equipment.

The top of the forward rack provides an adequate work bench and a suitable position for mounting the vice; for this purpose it has been kept clear, but there is no reason why it should not be used for the stowage of stores as well.

The occasional seat on the vehicles now going into service has been reduced in length to enable a rack for stowing large coils of wire to be mounted along the nearside of the body.

The light has been moved to the nearside of the vehicle so as to better illuminate the racks on the offside without detracting from the general interior illumination.

To complete the interior body fittings, accommodation for stowing the pole guides and wiring drum spindles has been arranged for by the fitting of a small rack in the space immediately behind the offside rear bolster support.  This should effectively keep these pieces of equipment where they
can always be found and prevent them from inadvertently being stowed away in inaccessible places.

The cab, as in the original vehicles, accommodates five men.  An additional rack for papers has been included and the gang’s first-aid outfit is now fixed in a prominent position on the offside of the cab.  The most marked improvement will no doubt be the disappearance of the engine with its rather noisy air intake filter, which has now gone in its entirety under the cab floor.  The cab doors are fitted with winding windows and cylinder type door handle locks, in place of the usual type of lock with its somewhat cumbersome key.

It is considered that the improved 2-ton general utility vehicle now going into service is a decided advance in Departmental motor transport facilities, which should ensure a fair return in increased productivity from the users.  Whether retrospective action is to be applied to the large number of original 2-ton general utility vehicles to bring them up to date is a problem that will need careful consideration.  Some of the improvements mentioned in this
article can be introduced fairly readily, however, if decided upon.



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